Board of Trustees Report, March 20, 2020

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The following is a summary of the NJSBA’s Board of Trustees meeting. It does not constitute official minutes.
NOTE: This meeting was held via conference call, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis
Preliminary budget for fiscal year 2021:
The trustees approved a preliminary general operating budget for 2020– 2021. The fiscal year starts July 1. The proposed budget reflects roughly $12 million in projected revenue and nearly the equivalent in projected expenses. The plan continues to invest in infrastructure upgrades and producing events, seminars and conventions that keep members up-to-date and provide benefit to their practice and professional endeavors. The preliminary budget will be reviewed, especially in light of issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, before it is finalized in June.

Court rules reports: The trustees supported an idea to increase the jurisdictional amounts used in the special civil courts. Though a report of the Supreme Court Committee on Special Civil Part Practice proposed an increase of $20,000 for special civil claims and $5,000 for small claims, the Association favored a different increase in relation to special civil claims. The NJSBA will urge the Judiciary to raise the limits to $25,000 for special civil claims, as opposed to $20,000.
The trustees also supported all the recommendations in the biennial report of the Supreme Court Committee of the Tax Court of New Jersey, which were largely clarifications or language updates. One proposal was an amendment that would make clear that all entities, other than sole proprietorships, need to be represented by an attorney in the tax court.
Annual Meeting and Convention: The Board of Trustees decided to postpone the Annual Meeting and Convention due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The plan was announced to hold it June 30-July 2 at Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa. NOTE: In the time since the Board of Trustees met, that decision has been revisited given the latest guidance from government and health professionals during this crisis. The NJSBA instead will debut a virtual symposium May 13-15, the original conference dates.
Paid speakers: The Board of Trustees approved having a handful of proven and successful paid speakers added to the line-up of NJICLE offerings, including:

     • Sean Carter presenting “Legal Ethics – Nice Lawyers Finish First;
     • Joel Oster, Comedian of Law;
     • Robert Musante presenting “Great Adverse Depositions;”
     • Michael Kahn and Chris Olson presenting “Nobody Told Me There’d Be Days Like These –
       Stress, Pressure and Ethical Decision-Making;” and
     • Presenters of “Individual Freedoms in Times of Crisis: Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt,
       and Theodore Roosevelt Speak About Freedom in Their Time and Ours.”
The presentations will be added to the calendar in the coming weeks and months.
Amicus awards: The Board of Trustees voted to present Amicus Awards to the following members who were involved in amicus cases that concluded in the past year. They are:
Department of Children and Families v. L.O.
Amy E. Vasquez
Meisels v. Fox Rothschild, et. al.
Benjamin J. DiLorenzo
Ann Marie Effingham
Diana C. Manning
Barbara Orientale v. Darrin L. Jennings
Craig J. Hubert
Thomas J. Manzo
William H. Mergner Jr.
Brandon C. Simmons
Van Riper v. New Jersey Division of Taxation
Andrew J. DeMaio
Glenn A. Henkel
Jill Lebowwitz
Heather G. Suarez
Lisa Balducci v. Brian M. Cige
William E. Denver
Thomas H. Prol
Edward J. Zohn